Something I can touch.
Assume all TRIGGER WARNINGs. I’ve been trying to write about such issues more often and I hope I do them justice. (secret: you might enjoy the poem more if you google the meaning of some of the names) Let me know if you liked it in the comments.
When my father told me we were the gold pots
at the end of the rainbow,
I was only ten.
He loved rainbows.
Every year on his birthday,
our house would become a castle made of
blue, yellow, and red
and my sister and I would draw him a red carpet
made out of every color in the 62 rupees color pencil pack.
It would start at the door and only last four steps
but it made abba smile the widest every year.
I asked him one day
why he loved something he couldn’t touch, so much.
He told me about this.
Sama, my sister, was adopted.
Her mother, Malak, was a victim of domestic violence
and marital rape. She had never known a happy home
and one day, she decided she had to change that.
With bruised blue skin and bold black eyes,
she decided to run away.
That’s when she came across my father,
an 18-year-old sitting by the lake
after it had rained.
Abbu saw a rainbow for the first time that day.
He heard everything Malak had to say
and agreed to take care of my sister
who was just a six month old with eyes that reflected
the sky and the rainbow.
“Malak had skin like a hundred gold coins
and a smile that was a weather phenomenon.
I’ve believed that people are the gold pot ever since.
And what do you mean I cannot touch a rainbow, Kabir.
Look!” He said and picked my sister up.
Ever since, abba made sure my sister
always loved herself.
He took her to movie shows
and always understood and listened
when Sama ranted about some boyfriend.
He was always there for her,
he always told her she was as beautiful as the sky.
He always taught her to be free
and me to be a good man.
I really wish his story had a happy ending, though.
I wish he died with rainbows in his eyes too,
or with a smile that mimicked the curve at the very least.
I was only eighteen
when I heard the news –
my sister was raped,
my father had killed himself,
and there were only heavy clouds in the sky.
My father had died knowing that
the gold pot was just a mirage.
His suicide note
addressed to my sister
still said the same thing, though.
“Always be free.”